Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, will this week outline a comprehensive report on the impact of load shedding and measures to be taken by health facilities as the country moved to higher stages of power cuts in recent weeks.
This comes after the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) called on hospitals and clinics to be exempted from the load shedding schedules.
“Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla has been concerned for some time with this matter of load shedding with the hope that it improves, but it has gotten worse to higher levels of 5 and 6 as it impacts on the provision of healthcare services across the country,” the statement read on Monday.
Minister, according to the department, has since ordered the Director-General, working with provincial heads of the department to finalise the assessment of the impact already in the past week.
In the meantime, the department said the Minister is engaging with the relevant authorities and entities including Public Enterprises Minister, Eskom and municipalities about the processes to be followed to exempt health facilities from load shedding.
“In addition, the Minister has been working on alternative additional sources over above the generators, which are not meant for prolonged outages to seek additional supply of power to be considered for installation in the health facilities to complement the generators as part of the energy mix.”
The Minister is expected to hold a media briefing on Friday, 30 September 2022, where he would outline the interventions that will be taken.
Delivering his Heritage Day message, President Ramaphosa said in the recent two weeks, the country has been seeing a rise in load shedding, which is disrupting lives and the economy and causing havoc from the social and health point of view.
However, he told citizens that government was dealing with the crisis head-on.
Last week, the President cut short his overseas trip short to return home to deal with the Eskom power crisis
“Even as we face these challenges as South Africans as we have done in the past. We have persevered and I ask once again, let us persevere,” he said on Saturday.
“The challenge is being addressed. It’s a complex one and we will be speaking soon about the various measures that we are taking to make sure that we address this challenge.”